My favorite versions of the greatest pop song ever written – goodbye, Leonard
2016 took Leonard Cohen, one of popular music’s true iconic geniuses, from us this week. I have said before that I think “Hallelujah” is perhaps the greatest popular song in history, and as evidence I would simply note that it has been covered countless times by an array of brilliant musicians. And nobody, I have learned, recognizes and respects musical genius like another musician.
Today for SVR we offer you some of the very best takes on that amazing song. Some you have probably heard. Some are likely new to you. All are the soul of reverence for one of the most compelling talents who ever walked among us.
We start with Jeff Buckley. Most people I know regard this as the definitive version of the song.
Rufus Wainwright’s version, which I first heard in Shrek, appeals to me a little more.
I’m an a capella nerd. This from Pentatonix, one of the heartbreakingly beautiful things I have ever heard, is a good example of why.
You may not know Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes and Kurt Nilsen, but this meditative take is as transcendent as it is simple.
KD Lang’s performance at the Vancouver Olympic closing ceremony was especially poignant in light of Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death a few days earlier.
It’s been a hard week. May you find the strength to forge ahead with courage and grace, and may music accompany you every step of the way.